Military Life Resources Base Guides

The complete base guide to Fairchild AFB

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aircraft at Fairchild AFB

A KC-135 Stratotanker from Fairchild Air Force Base refuels an F-16 Fighting Falcon from prior to a cargo delivery mission at Holloman Air Force Base, Sept. 17, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lawrence Sena)


Is a PCS to the Evergreen State in your future? If you’re heading to Fairchild Air Force Base located in beautiful Spokane, Washington, consider yourself fortunate, as this is a dream location for Airmen and their families! And that’s not just because of the Fairchild AFB housing or the weather. Not only do you have access to Space A flights, but there’s so much to do around the base that you’ll never run out of options!

Fairchild AFB Location

Fairchild AFB is located in the eastern part of Washington state, in Spokane County. It’s about 12 mines west of Spokane and about 280 miles east of Seattle.          

Fairchild AFB sere course
Tech. Sgt. Justin McCaffrey, survival, escape, resistance and evade, or SERE, specialist, performs a free-fall jump from a UH-1 Huey helicopter above Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Curry)


Fairchild is located in the Pacific Northwest region of America, so depending on where you’re coming from, you’re going to have a long drive!

Driving West on I-90: Continue through Spokane and take exit 277. This exit will take you to Highway 2 and remain on Highway 2 through Airway Heights. Follow signs.

Driving East on I-90: Driving toward Spokane, take exit 277B onto Highway 2 heading west. Follow signs to enter base.

Driving from the south: Buckle up for a long ride and expect the trip to take several days. The best way to approach this trip is to switchback across the country. Remember that lots of military installations offer hotel rooms for PCS travelers at discounted rates!

If you’re heading from the north, you’ll cross through Canada first.

Directions from the Airport: Leaving Spokane International Airport (GEG), take West Airport Dr. towards Hwy 2. Travel west towards Airway Heights. Fairchild AFB is located 3 miles past Airway Heights.  


There’s no public transportation on base, but Fairchild Airmen and families are eligible for a discounted Spokane bus pass. The Spokane Transit Authority Bus Route 61 stops at key locations on base.  Route maps and schedules are available on the Spokane Transit website.

Vanpool and bus passes are subsidized up to $255 for all military and AF civilian employees of Team Fairchild. To receive your subsidy for a bus pass, or for more information on transportation options, please contact Fairchild’s Employee Transportation Coordinator.

Pilot at Fairchild AFB
U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Matthew Waddel, 384th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker pilot, goes through pre-flight inspection procedures Feb. 26, 2019, on the flight line at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dustin Mullen)

Contacts at Fairchild AFB

Airmen and Family Readiness Center (509) 247-2246

Child Development Center (509) 247-2403

Commercial (509) 247-1212

Commissary (509) 244-5591

Dental Clinic (509) 247-5820

DSN (312) 657-1212

EFMP – Family Support (509) 247-2246

Employee Transportation Coordinator (509) 247-8139

Fairchild Inn (509) 247-5519

Fitness Center (509) 247-2791

Housing Office (509) 247-5185

ID/CAC Card Processing (509) 247-9200

Information and Referral Services (509) 247-2246

Legal Office (509) 247-2838

Library (509) 247-5556

MWR (509) 247-2511

NCO/Officer Club (509) 244-3622

Outdoor Recreation (509) 247-59250

Personal Financial Readiness Program (509) 247-2246

Post Office (509) 244-6398

School Liaison Officer (509) 247-2246

Security Forces Control Center (509) 247-5493

Space-A Flights (509) 247-3406

Temporary Lodging (509) 247-5519

Travel Office (877) 832-1366

Unaccompanied Housing (509) 247-3275

Visitors Center (509) 247-5495

airmen at Fairchild AFB
Airman 1st Class Joy Creal, 93rd Air Refueling Squadron aviation resource manager, reviews documents with Capt. Chris Fei, 93rd ARS executive officer Sept. 3, 2015, at Fairchild Air Force Base Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Sean Campbell)

Mission and Units

The mission at Fairchild is simple – extend America’s reach and deterrence through empowered Airmen.  

The active-duty host unit is the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Other tenant units include the 141st, an Air National Guard wing, and the 336th Training Group which operates the Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school. Both of the refueling wings fly the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker.

As part of the Air Mobility Command’s Eighteenth Air Force, the 92nd Air Refueling Wing also participates in strategic deterrence missions associated with the US Strategic Command. Speaking of refueling, here’s why the next Air Force One won’t have in-air refueling capabilities.

Fairchild AFB History

Like lots of other DoD installations, Fairchild can trace its origins back to WWII. That’s when, in September 1941, Spokane residents raised $125,000 to buy 1,400 acres of land to create the base. Then the land was given to the War Department and the base officially opened in 1942. During the war, it was called the Spokane Army Depot but after the war, the name changed to the Spokane AFB.

Later, in 1947, the 92nd Bomb Group was reactivated at Spokane. In November of that same year, it was re-designated as the 92nd Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy. A few years later, the installation received its current name in memory of AF Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Muir S. Fairchild.

In 1994, the AF transferred to Air Mobility Command and the assigned wing was re-designated as the 92nd Refueling Wing.

history at Fairchild AFB
A B-29 Superfortress on display during the Fairchild Skyfest 2022 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 15, 2022. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lawrence Sena)

Things to Do Around Fairchild

If you love the outdoors, then you’re going to love this base! There are several ski resorts nearby and lots of cultural activities, too.

Space A flights depart from Fairchild AFB. Check the current flight schedule here. Because Fairchild is such a large base, be advised that the Space A terminal is remote from all facilities. In good weather, it’s walkable from the BX/Commissary, but it’s a two mile walk.


Best Western Plus Peppertree, 3711 S Geiger Blvd

Phone: (509) 624-4655

Hilton Garden Inn, 9015 W, US-2

Phone: (509) 244-5866

SpringHill Suites by Marriott, 8967 W Airport Dr

Phone: (509) 838-9540

Wingate by Wyndham, 2726 South, Flint Rd

Phone: (509) 343-2398

Food Scene

If you’re a foodie, you’re going to love Spokane! With the Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean so close, Spokane produces tons of fresh and locally sourced fare all year long. There’s a thriving food scene here, featuring fare from all over the world. Be sure to check out the Garland District, the city’s hotspot for dining options and don’t miss out of Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle. This 84-year-old eatery features more than 20 milkshake flavors. Of course since it’s Washington, there are ton of great coffee shops all around that offer great brunch options, too. Since you’re in the Evergreen State, you won’t want to miss out on fresh seafood including salmon and crab. And be sure to sample the state’s famous cherries and apples, too!

event at Fairchild AFB
Airmen pose for photos at the Combat Dining-Out event at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, Sept. 17, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Anneliese Kaiser)


Clear Lake Recreation Area – Located just 20 minutes from base, this is a great place to spend a day by or on the water. Fish for trout, bass, catfish, or crappie from the fishing pier or by boat. Spend the night at a campsite, in your RV, in a cabin or even in a yurt.

Honor Point Military & Aerospace Museum features unique aircraft and interactive exhibits. It showcases aviation, military science, and the stories of those who have served.

Southside Family Aquatics Facility features three water slides, a heated swimming pool, a lazy river and a zero-depth activity pool. There’s also basketball, pickleball and sand volleyball courts; picnic areas; play structures; and a playground with a climbing wall. Concessions are available. 

Fairchild Air Force Base Housing

Spokane’s cost of living is a little less than in other parts of the country, so living off base might be financially possible. The nearby communities of Airway Heights, Medical Lake, and Cheney are great places to check out for your next home.

First things first, contact the Military Housing Office to find out about the current housing wait times.

As you might expect, barracks housing is mandatory for Airmen ranks E1-E3 and E4 with less than three years of service.  

Balfour Beatty owns and operates all privatized housing on base. Amenities include on-site maintenance services, lawn care services, access to a community center, and plenty of outdoor spaces for the whole family to enjoy. 

Schools Near Fairchild AFB

Elementary aged mil-kids will attend Michael Anderson Elementary. Other school-aged kids will attend schools in the Medical Lake School District.

Childcare and alternative schools are also available. Speak with the School Liaison Office for up-to-date information, including enrollment requirements.

kids at Fairchild AFB
An airshow attendee sits inside a static display during the Fairchild Skyfest 2022 at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, May 15, 2022. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lawrence Sena)

Frequently Asked Questions

What city is Fairchild AFB in?

The closest city Is Spokane, and it’s only about a 20-minute drive from base.

Is Fairchild AFB a good base?

That’s a relative question based on your own experiences, wants, and needs. With that in mind, we think it’s a great place to be stationed, especially if you’re a PNW fan!

Does it snow at Fairchild AFB?

It sure does! Fairchild is generally wet and rainy for most of the year. In fact, the rainy season lasts about 8 months. Expect a decent amount of snow from November to March. The great thing about Fairchild is that you’ll get all four seasons. Temps dip to the 20s in the winter and as warm as the 80s in the summer.

How big is Fairchild AFB?

After the initial land was purchased, Fairchild has continued to grow to serve the Airmen who live and work on base.